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A Seamless Move From Ad Tech to Consumer Health: Sarah’s Story A Seamless Move From Ad Tech to Consumer Health: Sarah’s Story

Why are people with media and agency backgrounds a natural fit for the Consumer Health team at Johnson & Johnson? Sarah Dempsey, Senior Manager, Audience and Media Management, North America, shares her story—and breaks down the exciting “digital-first” future she and her colleagues are building today.

"We’re All In": Digital-First in Consumer Health

Four months into her tenure at Johnson & Johnson, Sarah is probably more of an authority than anyone on what differentiates our approach to digital marketing from that of, say, agencies, media companies and the like.

In fact, three things stand out in Sarah's mind: freedom, autonomy and continuous learning. “With Johnson & Johnson," she said, "you'll get incredible support to learn new things as the industry changes, and because you have a lot of freedom, you can execute what you’re learning from there, and begin to build real expertise day in and day out.”

Such an abundance of opportunities for hands-on learning dovetails with something Sarah has noticed about Johnson & Johnson in general.

“This isn’t a company that’s afraid of new ideas,” she said. “We embrace fresh ideas”—to a degree that, in her experience in media, not everyone does.

“In eComm and digital,” Sarah explained, “every company is going to be facing similar challenges going forward, but not every company has the resources or the vision that Johnson & Johnson has in terms of taking them on. Frankly, I’ve seen a lot of companies get nervous about new capabilities, or new ways of marketing, and shy away from them.”

Not so at Johnson & Johnson, she said. “We’re all in, full-steam ahead, when it comes to this ‘digital-first’ mentality.”

Sarah continued, “You know the expression ‘If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it’? The approach here is the opposite. It’s more like ‘Let’s break it so we can build it back even better.’”

But what prompted the marketing and ad tech veteran to pursue a new path to begin with?

“We’re creating advanced digital frameworks based on where the industry is going and what the future holds next,” Sarah observed. "It’s a really exciting time to be a part of the Consumer Health team at Johnson & Johnson. Anyone interested in a career in digital marketing or eCommerce should definitely be looking at our capabilities.”

Advancing Women in STEM: Sarah’s Unique Path

A lifetime New Jerseyan, Sarah attended Rutgers University, where she decided on a STEM path and earned her bachelor’s degree in engineering.

The decision opened a number of doors upon graduation, including some Sarah admits hadn’t expected.

Take launching her career in adtech, for example.

“There’s obviously a real need to bring more women into the STEM arena," Sarah said. "But women should know that there are a number of career pathways available to them, like mine, where you aren’t so much working directly in STEM as working in a tech-facing role.”

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It’s a really exciting time to be a part of the Consumer Health team at Johnson & Johnson. Anyone interested in a career in digital marketing or eCommerce should definitely be looking at our capabilities.

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Reflections on All-Virtual Onboarding

Still a relative newcomer to Johnson & Johnson, Sarah had to brave an all-virtual onboarding process due to COVID-19 safety protocols, meaning she still hasn’t met everyone on her team in person.

Besides that, though, what has been the biggest surprise for Sarah so far?

Work/life balance, for one thing. “This company is very good about respecting your boundaries. If, for example, you have a commitment or something that you need to do outside of work, people will understand and respect that.”

In that vein, Sarah is now working with the Society of Women Engineers, taking time to offer advice and career counseling to young women in the hope of encouraging more of them to join her field in the future (which is something we’re equally passionate about at Johnson & Johnson, and you should check out our many initiatives to support women in STEM to learn more).

Today, in any case, Sarah knows that support and guidance can be determining factors in career growth—and that it’s never too early to get started.

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Within Consumer Health at Johnson & Johnson, I’m noticing that if I raise my hand and say, ‘Look, I need more support or resources or capabilities here,’ I know that actions are going to be taken and that I’ll get the help I need right away. And that makes for a really great work environment. It’s a very respectful way of working together

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Join the Consumer Health Team at Johnson & Johnson Today

If you’re ready to join Sarah—and to help us build the digital future today—we can’t wait to meet you! Be sure to check out all of the opportunities we’re hiring for in Consumer Health right now.

In the meantime, you should consider signing up for our Global Talent Hub as well. It’s a great way to keep in touch, learn more about life at Johnson & Johnson—and even get updates about consumer health jobs that might interest you in the future.

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